February 28, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday evening, with the support of U.S. Rep. John Katko (NY-24), the House passed H.R. 1865 - Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act, legislation to empower human trafficking survivors and provide state and local law enforcement with the necessary legal tools to go after websites that facilitate human trafficking.

“Human trafficking is a modern-day version of slavery, and sadly, exists in many of our communities nationwide.  Here in Central New York, organizations like McMahon/Ryan Child Advocacy Center and Vera House work tirelessly to protect victims and end these heinous crimes,” said Rep. John Katko. “The legislation that passed through the House with my support will help to raise awareness, provide support for survivors, and fight online sex trafficking.”

In Central New York, McMahon/Ryan Child Advocacy Center currently works with over 100 victims of human trafficking, and its numbers continue to grow.

“We need to stop traffickers in any way we can, making it difficult for them to traffic our youth and holding them accountable,” said Colleen Merced, Acting Executive Director for McMahon/Ryan Child Advocacy Center. “We thank Congressman Katko for recognizing the importance of addressing human trafficking.  McMahon/Ryan Child Advocacy Center continues to fight for child trafficking victims and urge others to use their voices to fight to ensure that children do not continue to suffer in silence.”

“We need to use every tool possible to cut off avenues traffickers use to prey on vulnerable victims.  It is wonderful to have the support of Congressman Katko for important efforts like this,” commented Vera House Executive Director Randi Bregman.

Rep. Katko has prioritized addressing the threat of human trafficking in Congress.  Earlier this year, bipartisan legislation he introduced to combat the threat of human trafficking on our nation’s transportation systems was signed into law by President Trump.

Congressman John Katko represents the 24th Congressional District of New York, which includes all of Onondaga, Cayuga, and Wayne Counties and the western portion of Oswego County.  For more information visit or